Peshawar (Agenzia Fides) - "The Eucharist is the source and summit of our life and our mission. We are Eucharistic people, called to live and bear witness to the faith in the Holy Eucharist in Pakistan. We open our hearts to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to understand the mystery of our faith in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist strengthens our faith and binds us, in communion, as a single community": this is what Archbishop Christophe Zakhia El Kassis, Apostolic Nuncio to Pakistan said, addressing the faithful present at the special "Eucharistic Congress" organized in past days in the church of St. John Mary Vianney in the city of Peshawar. The Apostolic Nuncio concelebrated the Holy Mass with Archbishop Joseph Arshad, at the head of the diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, which includes the city of Peshawar, as well as with various priests. The Congress wanted to underline the importance of the Eucharist in the Jubilee year, 2022, in which the Catholic diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi celebrates 75 years of foundation. Archbishop Joseph Arshad exhorted those present to "be united in the mission of emphasizing the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the faithful in the province of Khyber Pakhtun Khwa (KPK)" and quoting the Gospel of John (GV 6,54) added: "I encourage you to maintain strong faith in the Eucharist. As Jesus teaches us, Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. The holy Eucharist nourishes our body and our soul".
The faithful of the six parishes St. John Mary Vianney Parish, St. Michael Parish, in Peshawar, the Holy Name Parish, in Nowshera, St. Peter the Apostle Parish, in Attock, the Immaculate Conception Parish, in Kohat and St. Peter Canisius Parish, in Abbotabad have taken part in the Eucharistic Congress, which has also included a Eucharistic Procession, Adoration and Holy Mass. Father Nasir William, priest organizer of the Eucharistic Congress, speaking to Fides, notes that "Eucharist carried in procession to the Church, for Eucharistic Adoration, symbolizes that we are one body in Christ. This manifestation was also a profound and public witness of faith for Catholics in Pakistan". "In the jubilee year of the Catholic diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi - concludes Fr. Nasir William - we are organizing the program of the Youth Congress and another Eucharistic Congress in our diocese to help the faithful, especially the young, to take root in the Holy Eucharist, and to be fervent Christians, ready for the mission on the streets of Pakistan".
The Catholic diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi was erected in 1947. In its territory, out of 41 million inhabitants, mostly Muslims, there are 217 thousand Catholics and 24 parishes. (AG/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 8/4/2022)